NOTE: This interview was taken in 2022, and has been updated to correct any changes made since then.


Welcome back, fellow Nightopians! I am back giving you another SAGE 2023 Developer Interview, this time it's with Lavie_Azure, the manager of SoftSeventh, the Latin-American based team working on the game. CODE Bunny officially releases this month, September 22, 2023, and with their big release underway, it's only fitting that we learn some insight on how the game came to be. If you are already interested, they have a demo ready at this year's SAGE. (Which you can play by clicking the logo)

Daisuke: Tell me about the game, what inspired you to make something you were so passionate to work on?

Lavie_Azure (Lavie): In the beginning, CODE Bunny was a -very- small experiment. It was going to be a completely different game than it is today. It was inspired by mecha anime, such as Code Geass. I guess you can draw a similarity from there, huh?

I also took a lot of inspiration from Mega Man Zero, Freedom Planet, some fighting games and Gunvolt. I was gonna make a hybrid between a space shmup and a platformer. Axel - the main character - was going to pilot a mech suit that could swap between Jet and Mech modes.


(I can definitely feel the inspiration!)

As time went on, I came up with Hazel as a playable character, and the game started morphing slowly into an action platformer.

As it was going to be a small project, I didn't plan to spend a long time with it. It would only have 3 short levels. Then I would release it on It gained traction after a while, and I saw the potential, so I decided to make it a full-length game. Well, now there are 3 levels, 2 playable characters, and a demo on and SAGE, so that goal is met, but there's still plenty to be done.

Daisuke: I've noticed those inspirations when I played the game, especially the Megaman Zero related ones. You mentioned that it was going to originally be a smaller game, did any of those ideas go into CODE Bunny? Or was everything overhauled?

Lavie: Pretty much just the characters, since there wasn't much I could salvage from Axel's old gameplay. He's completely different than what we started out with.

Hazel, however, is the polar opposite. I came up with her gameplay style in 2020, only a few weeks after dev started. Her gameplay style worked so well we didn't have to change much, just add a ton of polish. She's basically the reason we kept working on the game for so long. I wanted to expand upon her gameplay, but didn't wanna abandon Axel's. I wouldn't advise any aspiring dev to make multiple playable characters this early in their career.

Daisuke: Can you describe why you wouldn't advise this? Maybe this can give learning developers that participate some valuable insight.

Lavie: If I simplify this... Balancing is the issue. Designing for 2 characters takes a lot of time, especially if you wanna save on resources.


The game has vastly different enemy layouts, but almost all the levels are shared between both characters, so I had plenty of limitations making them, as characters traverse them very differently.
If I only had to work on layouts for 1 character, the game would probably already be done. But taking the other into account adds to dev time tenfold.

Daisuke: Are you working on CODE Bunny mostly on your own? Or is there a consistent team?

Lavie: We're a small team.


(Screenshot of Hazel gameplay)

There's OuroYisus, our spriter, who's our only "full time" member other than myself, and a few friends who are working on concept art and cutscenes, as well as another friend who's helping out with some of the more difficult programming challenges.

Daisuke: So, you're pretty much handling the design and balancing on your own?

Lavie: Yes. I also composed most of the soundtrack, but there are a few tracks composed by Alumae. She's the developer of Mega Man Star Force Endwave, and also attended SAGE last year!

I've known Alumae for quite a while though. I guess it was a coincidence that we both ended up releasing games on SAGE?

Daisuke: How did the team come together?

Lavie: A few years ago, the developer of an RPG called LunarLux (which you should check out btw), Nobab, started his game's discord server with a group of other games' devs. It was an interesting idea, because we were able to do plenty of networking and also I met some of my best friends there for the first time.

I met Alumae, OuroYisus and Joona - our programming friend - there.
But they weren't in the game's dev from the beginning. We had a different spriter, but he was stealing assets from other games, so we booted him and did all the art over from scratch.

Daisuke: A big thing people are going to notice first about CODE Bunny is it's unique artstyle. I am personally interested with how all of the vibrant colors pop out and mix together without feeling like it's too much. Do you mind giving insight into how you achieved that?

Lavie: We tried to go for a style that reminded people of classic video games, but also wanted to take advantage of modern tools such as 3D effects and bloom.

It reminds you of playing a retro game at night on a CRT, it kinda pops, you know?
We tried to limit ourselves with moving sprites such as the playable characters, though.

Having small sprites allows us to make many cool animations that look fluid and snappy more easily than if the game had big, Megaman-esque sprites, since those would be really time consuming. It's easier to polish simpler sprites.


(Screenshot of Axel gameplay)

Daisuke: What engine is the game being worked on? And has this engine given you any specific issues? Have you used other engines before you used this one?

Lavie: We're using Unity. It's the only engine I've really ever used. I wouldn't say the engine itself caused issues, other than being slow to work with sometimes.

Daisuke: Any reason why you used Unity over any other engine?

Lavie: I've only learned Unity so far.

CODE Bunny is only my second project. Which is why I advised not to make multiple characters if you're just starting out. Scope creep really wears on you.

Daisuke: Thank you very much for taking your time to have this chat with me! I personally loved CODE Bunny and I surely hope you guys have great luck in the future

Lavie: Thank you! This year's demo is a lot better than last year's. We put in a lot of work so everyone has an even more polished experience!

As stated before, CODE Bunny releases September 22nd, 2023! If you would like to follow CODE Bunny, Lavie_Azure and their team, links to the game's page and their socials will be below.


SoftSeventh/CODE Bunny